Hawkins\Brown has grown steadily over 18 years to the point where there is now a team of 65 workers, including architects, designers, graphic artists and project managers, at its busy east London base. As well as its core activity in the capital, the practice works throughout the UK, building and designing in cities such as Oxford, Birmingham, Sheffield, Leeds and Plymouth.
Hawkins\Brown has always worked on a diverse range of projects at different scales, for private commercial clients, institutions or public-sector organisations. It believes that these different experiences cross-fertilise each other and have helped established a flexible and sophisticated approach to the complexities of mixed-use regeneration schemes.
The present workload includes university and school projects at Essex, Oxford and Anglia Ruskin. There are arts centres in Nottingham, Dalston and Cambridge, and town halls and civic centres in Barking, Dagenham and Hackney. Hawkins\Brown won the international competition for the Corby Hub in 2004 and is now developing the detail designs for one of a new generation of civic buildings. The glazed cube design encloses a library stretched out along a spiralling ramp that rises up through the building, wrapped around an arts theatre, local authority offices and a restaurant that opens out onto a dramatic roof terrace.
Hawkins\Brown is known for its work on a transport interchange at Tottenham Court Road and is now developing schemes for Victoria Station and Crossrail. These projects have developed the practice's interest in urban design and the public realm which has led to work for Transport for London and the Mayor's office at Gillett Square in Hackney. In Whyteleafe in Surrey, Hawkins\Brown has designed 200 key-worker flats financed by central-government Challenge Funding. The scheme incorporates cutting-edge thinking on sustainable development and shows how a suburban project can learn from urban models.
Although Hawkins\Brown is also working on much larger projects, it continues to build relatively modest schemes in which experimentation and innovation can flourish and where there is scope for representation, humour and critiqued practice. The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre, opened in April 2005 by Cherie Blair (featured on TV and in the national press), provides a centre for the study and interpretation of the life and writings of Roald Dahl. The centre is deliberately focused on the child and bringing the stories of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and the like to life.
For Hawkins\Brown every scheme is different because the users have different needs, and each site has different forces and opportunities. What makes the practice unique is its determination to listen and learn from the people who own and will use a building and to find inspiration and creativity in this vision for the project.
Contact: Hawkins\Brown, 60 Bastwick Street, London EC1V 3TN, tel 020 7336 8030, fax 020 7336 8851, email, mail@hawkinsbrown. co. uk, web www. hawkinsbrown. co. uk